“(The Chinese activities) are not only affecting the livelihoods of Filipinos and our natural resources. It also conditions the mind of the people that we must always be subservient or allow ourselves to be maneuvered.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – Actor Pen Medina has called on the Filipino people to unite amid the foreign intervention of the US and Chinese governments over the country’s political, economic, and military affairs.
“(The Chinese activities) are not only affecting the livelihoods of Filipinos and our natural resources. It also conditions the mind of the people that we must always be subservient or allow ourselves to be maneuvered,” Medina told Bulatlat during the Independence Day rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City.
The actor told Bulatlat that he decided to join the Independence Day protest action organized by Filipino progressive groups because he could no longer stomach the “kagaguhan” under the present administration.
Later in that afternoon, the Department of National Defense confirmed the “hit-and-run” incident in the Recto reef, involving a Chinese vessel hitting and later abandoning 22 Filipino fisherfolk to the elements. They were fortunately rescued by Vietnamese fishers and are expected to return to the country anytime now.
The Duterte administration was urged to take a firm stand on the incident. However, he has yet to publicly condemn the incident.
Medina said it is important to join protest actions, especially in crucial times such as now. Joining protest actions, he added, allows him to meet real-life Panglima Alari, the character he is currently breathing to life in a local television show dubbed as “Sahaya.” Panglima Alari is a tribal leader who refuses to give up their ancestral domain to a rich businessman.
He has met labor leaders and activists under attack. Some, he added, are being killed.
“These protest actions allow you to be really involved (in the struggle). You can meet people from all walks of life here,” he added in Filipino.
Medina also urged people to gear their energy towards having a woke citizenry instead of mocking die-hard supporters of the Duterte administration. He recalled how he attended a pro-Gloria Macapagal Arroyo rally during her presidency and explained to the people how the funds are being misused.
Later on, he said, the protesters he talked to were chanting, “Gloria resign” in the middle of her State of the Nation Address.
During the time of Marcos dictatorship, he joined study groups to discuss issues, where he first became aware of the social issues, especially on US intervention in the country. The most important lesson, he added, is that the system may be changed for good.